Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Greetings from a Distance!

For everyone who has supported me during my blogging journey, I utter a humble thanks.  I've been struggling with some unexpected life circumstances for the past few months.  I've been unable to read and review books, and that has been difficult for me to accept. 

It is my intention to begin again in the New Year unless I'm led in another direction.  I apologize for my unexplained absence, but I'm very grateful for all that God has been doing in my life during this season.  He is abundantly faithful - no matter what!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason - REVIEWED


About the Book:
She'll have to draw on all of her resources to crack the case--and guard her heart.

After being dumped by her fiancé, Chloe St. John has decided that the only male she likes is her K-9 German shepherd partner, Hank. But being over the whole romance thing has perks--like giving full attention to her job. Attention she's definitely going to need because a case of human trafficking with connections to her missing cousin just landed in her lap.

Deputy US Marshall Blake MacCallum is in a race against the clock to rescue his kidnapped daughter when Chloe and Hank are asked to be a part of the task force assembled to bring down the traffickers. Chloe finds herself attracted to the silent, suffering man. But can she trust him? And can Blake trust himself around this firecracker of a woman?


Buckle in. This fast and furious ride will have your heart pumping from the very start.

My Thoughts:
Human Trafficking makes my heart quake, and Lynette Eason tackles this very difficult topic with a realistic, heart-pounding finesse that will have you reading into the wee morning hours!  The St. John family has devoted their lives to different aspects of law enforcement.  Chloe and her dog Hank create a fascinating partnership, and when she's asked to partner with the US Marshalls, as they attempt to break up a human trafficking ring.

This becomes personal when human traffickers begin to threaten law enforcement at the highest level. When traffickers expand their threats to innocent lives to manipulate their desired outcome those on the front lines become indirect targets! The story has multiple layers, and each layer uncovers a desperation and danger that will cause the reader's heart to race non-stop!  Be prepared for an emotional work out during this novel!  No one is safe, and there are some personal relationships that are pulled to the breaking point in a effort to survive the chaos!

I don't want to ruin any of the twists and turns, but I will tell you that Eason doesn't neglect romance and family as her plot unfolds.  She doesn't miss a thing!   So believe me when I tell you, this story has something for everyone!  The Blue Justice series is one you do not want to miss!!


About the Author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of Honor and Called to Protect, as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness by Bruce Wilkinson - REVIEWED


About the Book:
God made your heart for love, joy, peace, and wholeness. So why isn’t that our normal experience? Why do so many of us feel inner turmoil? Could the problem be unforgiveness? Pastors estimate 90 percent of their congregations struggle with it. Do you? If so, get ready to be set free!


Through the teachings of Jesus, The Secret of Lasting Forgiveness reveals the link between our suffering and our unforgiveness. But it also shows how to forgive—for real and forever. Our story doesn’t have to end with the pain of our wounds. Whatever happened to us happened. But the God who made our hearts has shown a way through the wounds, back to the life and love that we were made for—a path to lasting peace.

My Thoughts:
I'm late posting this review, but the book is the reason I'm late.  See, God has used my blogging to bring books into my life for very specific reasons.  This book came to me during a season of letting go after my 23 year marriage ended. Forgiveness hasn't been easy to give or receive.  And God is using this book to help me move forward.

Dr. Wilkinson's approach is not very complex, but, it is rather challenging. You have to get past yourself to get to all of the richness of the freedom God offers through the lessons of forgiveness. This book breaks it down to a level where anyone at any stage of their walk with God will understand and be able to apply the truths of God's word to their situation.  I found it surprising to see what God brought to the surface...to show my areas where unforgiveness was lingering toward others, and I didn't even realize it!

This isn't a difficult read, and it isn't a particularly long read, but if you prayerfully move through each step, it takes a bit of time.  But it is worth the time and the effort!  I am happy to recommend this book to everyone!  This will take faith to a new level!

About the Author:
Dr. Bruce Wilkinson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over sixty books, including The Prayer of Jabez and Secrets of the Vine.  Bruce currently leads Teach Every nation, a Bible training movement educating church leaders who cannot access or afford traditional academic institutions.

Monday, July 30, 2018

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart - REVEIEWED


About the Book:
One young woman must stand up for freedom--and perhaps find her own in the process.
Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. 

Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll need all of the courage and strength she possesses--and more.

My Thoughts:

"But sometimes when fires is burnin' out of control, then a body has to do whatever he can to put 'em out.:  (p. 297)

When Louis spoke these words to Adria, several disastrous things had already taken place, and, at the moment, there seems to be nothing but trouble up ahead.  Things were changing rapidly, and Adria needs the wisdom only God can provide to make some very difficult decisions.

Oh, this book is amazing!  Reader, if you enjoy historical fiction with some romance tossed into the mix, then you will relish this book!  The prose will keep you interested, the characters will become familiar and dear to your heart, and you will find yourself torn between decisions facing the characters.  In the 1800's slavery made life difficult for everyone on both sides.  This book is written on the cusp of the Civil War, and slaves were already making their way to freedom any way that presented itself.  Adria's heart longs to help slaves to freedom, but Ruth and the town expect her to marry a man who can give her a secure future.  

Adria wrestles with societal norms of her day and the truth of what God has shown her in His word.  Ruth has her own issues to wrestle with when a new preacher comes to town with his own issues in tow.  There are many, many layers to this story, and I can highly recommend it to everyone!  There is much to love in this novel!

About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Star Passage : Honor and Mercy by Clark Rich Burbidge - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Book Three continues the saga as the ancient relic directs our travelers on a new quest. Mike meets a struggling new patient during therapy. Ronnie Chen thinks his life is over but the relic has a plan. The expanding group of friends band together as the relic leads them through extraordinarily dangerous historic passages. But this time their quest is complicated by the escape to the present of the Tracker, Clynt. Is there any hope of stopping him from taking control of someone, stealing the relic and leading thousands of evil Trackers in changing history and destroying the world?


The Carsons and their friends must pull together to resist the Trackers at every turn while dealing with a possible traitor in their midst. With the Trackers closing in and the travelers ever more desperate is there any hope of escape? Find out in the thrilling third installment.

My Thoughts:
"...the star can open up understanding, uplift, and help.  But is also can take its owners into incredible danger."  Tim (p.319)

I have been a HUGE fan of this series since it was published!  You can read my reviews HERE and HERE!  This installment gets very real very quickly.  Since the tracker Clynt became a viable threat, I couldn't figure out how the author would deal with a realistic outcome without exacting a heavy price on the Carson family and the friends that journey with them as the travel throughout history. The story didn't disappoint!

This installment deals not only with history's impact on our present time, but, in a very real and subtle way touches upon the spiritual realm and believer's impact there as well.  This is by no means a tale about spiritual warfare, but, for this reader, I was able to pick up some truths that I found both uplifting and challenging.  I think Jack, Martie and Tim come away from this journey forever changed!  I really believe fans of this series will also be impacted at a heart level and feel closer to these characters than ever before!

I am always thrilled by the author's ability to bring me into these stories!  I feel as though I've traveled right along with the kids on their journey! This story brings a realistic dose of danger, and no one comes away unscathed! I'm super excited about the way he ended this tale, because I know I have more to look forward to!  I cannot recommend this series highly enough!  I'm very much a grown up, and I love them!  I'm super excited to know that this kind of quality is available to young readers!

About the Author:

Clark Rich Burbidge was born and raised in the high mountain valleys of the Rockies. He earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. from the University of Utah. His business career included exciting adventures in investment banking and three stints as a chief financial officer. The past seven years have found him pursuing causes to strengthen and protect youth while authoring eight books, six of which have been recognized with international awards for excellence. Involvement in family, community, and church service spanning over four decades has kept him balanced. Burbidge and his sweetheart, Leah, live near Salt Lake City, Utah, where they enjoy outdoor activities including mountain biking, road biking, hiking, and travel involving scuba diving, adventure, and warm sandy beaches. However, most of all they treasure sharing their lives with their blended family of ten children and six grandchildren.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hope of Nations by John S. Dickerson - REVIEWED

About the Book:
Every week a terrorist attack, riot, or political scandal makes the headlines—and we feel the world around us shaking again. We struggle to separate truth from biased statements and hope from naïveté. We wonder how we got here and where these uncertain days will take us.

One of the world’s top investigative reporters, John S. Dickerson, addresses this post-truth, post-Christian society in Hope of Nations.

Hope of Nations shows us how and why the world is changing, where those changes will lead, and what it looks like to live like Christ in today’s society. With fascinating historical and political background, Dickerson helps us understand:

The five major forces driving global change in the world today

Why violent displays of Islam continue resurfacing

The incoming moral, social, and political impact of American millennials

Ten ways to respond biblically to trends shaping the world right now

How to live with Christian courage and compassion in tumultuous times

“Times of great social upheaval are times of great spiritual opportunity,” writes Dickerson. “You can live the adventure of this era with great purpose. You can know with confidence that the Creator of the universe appointed you to bring light and life to this moment in human history.”

Among the youngest award-winning journalists and a seminary-trained pastor, Dickerson brings his reporting skills, generational perspective, and biblical insights to this groundbreaking book.


Get a larger view of what is happening with your community, your government, and your international neighbors in this thoughtful look at global events in light of your unique Christian calling.

My Thoughts:
This is a book that takes some time to process, but OH how it gives understanding, context, and practical application to all of the confusing points of view that Christians face in this current age. This book contains a LOT of information, so you have to take time to digest what you read, but you come away with a rich resource and understanding of how to effectively live the gospel in today's society.

This is a MUCH NEEDED tool to have in your arsenal of understanding.  I admire someone so gifted and able to put all of this together in one volume!  This is a book I will have to revisit as I travel my own faith journey - especially on my job at the local university. I am grateful to have this information! 

About the Author:

John S. Dickerson is a prize-winning research journalist, a seminary-trained pastor, and a frequent commentator in national news outlets like USA Today. He aggregates cultural trends, sociology, and historical understanding to give Biblical insight into world events and Christian living today. John’s first book, The Great Evangelical Recession, has equipped tens of thousands to understand the future of the church in the United States. John serves as the Lead Pastor of Connection Pointe Christian Church in the Indianapolis metro area.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Contradiction to His Pride by Leanne W. Smith - REVIEWED

About the Book:
From the moment James met Corrine as they traveled the Oregon Trail, in Smith's best-selling debut novel Leaving Independence, he couldn’t resist trying to win the sharp-mouthed beauty’s affections.
Now, as the core group of pioneers in Colonel Dotson’s wagon train begins to settle in Baker City, Oregon and build homesteads, James is restless to make his fortune so he can stake his own claim and win Corrine’s hand with honor.
But when James takes Corrine on an outing designed to impress her, things go tragically wrong. James foils a bank robbery and unwittingly sets a series of events into motion that shatter Corrine’s heart and now threaten her life, along with his and her older brother Charlie’s.
Soon there are several folks heading back down the trail—James, Charlie, Corrine, Harry and Tam Sims, the Baker City Sheriff, a newspaper man, a notorious criminal family, and Hoke Mathews—all set to collide in a final showdown in a Colorado mining town as outlaw Duke Walden seeks to make James pay for his heroic actions.

My Thoughts:
Traveling the Oregon trail is a great way to get to know someone, and James Parker sets his heart toward Corrine Baldwyn.  Once he helps his partner put the finishing touches on his new homestead in Baker City, Oregon, James has already made up his mind on the order of events that have to take place in order to present his heart and life to Corrine.  He never figures a bank robbery gone wrong into his plans.  

When James and Corrine go into town with another couple to enjoy a sleigh ride in the snow, the trajectory of their lives are forever changed.  Some lives end altogether that day, but while some grieved their losses in a healthy way, others spent time plotting revenge.  The next curve in their lifetime journey becomes shaped by outlaws who use the local Baker City newspaper as a window of opportunity.  While James and Corrine anticipate time apart, neither imagines what that time apart will entail.

The reader gets to enjoy every nuance of the journey, and, quite honestly, there are moments when you are left to wonder who will survive.  So, if you like history with a frontier flare, pick up a copy of Leanne Smith's latest novel!  It will keep you entertained and introduce you to characters that you will come to care about a great deal. This is a great Summer read!


About the Author:

Leanne W. Smith is a writer and professor. Her books include Leaving Independence, On a Dark & Snowy Night (short story), and A Contradiction to His Pride. She also teaches business courses at a university in Nashville. Smith and her husband have two creative daughters and a son-in-law who make the world a more beautiful place through their art, design, photography, singing, songwriting and mandolin-playing. 

WEBSITE: leannewsmith.com 
BLOG: leannewsmith.com/blog